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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Fitness Learning Process: 5 Errors To Erase

Fitness is a learning process. It is a learning process in terms of finding out about yourself and what your body can handle, and it’s a very literal learning process in terms of learning how to use machines or optimize your workouts for the best results. No one is born with an innate knowledge of how to ensure they get the most from their physical activity— and as a result, there’s a lot of room for error.

These errors are concerning for a number of reasons. They can be errors that are potentially harmful, such as causing injuries or damaging an area of your body, and they can be errors which mean you don’t see the results you might expect from your workouts. Either way, it’s clear that any dedicated fan of fitness needs to ensure that they eliminate these errors from their workout regimen, so that all physical activity is as beneficial as it can possibly be.

So, let’s dive on into the most common errors people make when trying to improve or maintain their fitness. By knowing what you need to avoid, you can be confident that every second you spend working out is a second that is genuinely good for you, and that your fitness journey can be enjoyed rather than endured.

ERROR! Failing to use supports

No matter what the physical activity, there’s a support you can use to minimize the risk of injury. Many fitness fans forgo these supports or deem them unnecessary, but the simple truth is that supports can help protect you— and ensure that you’re able to continue your fitness regime in the future. No one wants to have their workout routine disrupted by an injury, which is why you should always seek out supports to help keep your body as protected as possible.

Here are a few examples of supports you might want to consider using for various disciplines:

  • Running: ankle supports; knee supports; heel supports (particularly if you have plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly found in runners)
  • Lifting weights: support belts, ankle supports.
  • Cycling: knee supports; ankle supports; gloves to prevent chafing.
  • All physical activities: kinesiology tape.
The only possible exception to this rule is swimming, as the water itself helps to provide necessary support to your body. For any other form of physical activity, there’s undoubtedly a support that you can utilize to improve your performance and prevent injury.

ERROR! Not getting enough sleep

It may seem like how well you sleep isn’t particularly connected to your workout regime, but the two are more interlinked that you may initially think.

Sleep is when your mind and body have the chance to work through any issues without being disturbed by your conscious mind. Sleep is where your body heals itself, which is a particularly important consideration if you are a dedicated fitness fan.

Let’s say that you work out hard during the daytime, and your body is sore in the aftermath. You go to bed that night and only grab a few hours sleep, which means that your body doesn’t have the chance to truly repair itself— but you work out again the next day anyway. The cumulative effect of not allowing your body to heal after a workout means that injuries, aches, and pains are far more likely.

If you’re committed to a fitness regime that is genuinely going to benefit your life, then you need to go out of your way to ensure that your sleep hygiene is as good as possible. Go to bed at the same time every night; upgrade your mattress after perusing for tips; and try and encourage yourself to sleep on your side or your back. All of these steps will help to ensure you get an adequate amount of good quality sleep and that your body has the time it needs to regenerate.

ERROR! Failing to diversify your workouts

A few times in this post, the term “workout regime” has been used. However, one of the biggest errors you can make is to have a workout regime that is your only regime— variety is definitely the spice of your fitness life.

While it’s natural to gravitate towards an established workout pattern, the truth is that this can be problematic. For one thing, your body will just become good at those specific exercises, which is not a great choice if you’re looking to achieve well-rounded fitness. Secondly, if your workout regime is always the same set of exercises, you’re going to find that your interest begins to wane.

Keep life interesting by diversifying your habits in regards to exercise. Every so often, book an exercise class that you’ve never tried before, or work out outdoors if you normally do it indoors (or vice versa). These small changes help you to maintain a better level of interest in your workouts, as well as ensuring that your body is experiencing a number of different challenges. Remember, there’s more than one type of fitness, and as points out, to achieve optimal health you need to try and cover them all.

ERROR! Going too fast and hard too soon

When you’re trying to work on your fitness, it’s tempting to push yourself as hard as you can. This has even become a trope of sorts, with TV characters frequently exaggerating the miles they have run or the push-ups they have accomplished. The message that viewers can take from this is that more is always better in regards to any kind of physical activity, but in reality, this just isn’t the case.

While “the burn” and pushing yourself will always have a part to play in a good exercise regime, the truth is that you shouldn’t exceed your physical capabilities too soon. If you want to tighten your abs, doing 500 sit-ups in an evening isn’t going to do you much good. It’s going to hurt, which means you won’t want to do it again, and you’re likely to damage your muscles as they were unprepared for the sudden onslaught. The same is true if you’re intending to run a marathon; you don’t want to start your training by running five miles at your first practice.

Good exercise discipline slowly turns the dial up on the intensity of your workouts, rather than expecting instantaneously impressive distances and weights to be achieved. By building gradually, you’re able to develop the core strength and/or aerobic ability that you will need to go faster, stronger, further, or heavier. Protect both your enthusiasm and your body by taking things slowly, rather than going “all out” and running the risk of harm.

ERROR! Not setting yourself goals

For many people, when asked what they are trying to achieve through fitness, their answer will be rather vague:

  • “I want to lose weight.” 
  • “I want to have more energy.” 
  • “I want to be fitter.” 
There’s no doubt that all of these reasons are valid, but their lack of specificity is potentially problematic. When left open, these statements don’t have a metric by which they can be measured— which can make it difficult to know if you’re truly improving and benefiting your life through your efforts.

It’s far better for you mentally to set goals that can be measured in a very specific way. So, you could rework the goals above as follows:

  • “I want to lose 20lbs by August.” 
  • “I want to have enough energy to socialize with my friends once every week.” 
  • “I want to be fit enough to run a half-marathon in 12 months.” 
By setting very definitive goals, you’ll find it far easier to judge how you are doing, and see the results against the baseline you established before you began your exercise regime.

Some people shy away from setting goals over fears for their motivation if they don’t meet them. This is especially true of time specific goals, such as our example of losing 20lbs by August. That’s why it’s important to keep your goals flexible; something to aim for rather than something you have to achieve. If you only lose 17lbs by August or take two years to be able to run a half-marathon, that’s still a huge difference on your starting point, and no one could possibly say that you’ve “failed” at anything. If you miss your goal, that’s okay— you’ll still be reassured by the evidence that you’re definitely doing better than you were before.

Goals are incredibly useful for motivation, so don’t shy away from the idea of setting them. Just remember to keep a sense of perspective if you miss your intended mark, and you won’t go far wrong.

Final thoughts

As we discussed, fitness is a learning process, so if you have been making any of the mistakes above, then don’t be concerned. You can now work on fixing any problems to ensure that you get the most from your time spent working out, which will help to ensure the best results from your efforts.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Benefits of using Full Spectrum Sauna

There is a long history of gaining health benefits through the use of saunas or sweat lodges in many areas of the world. Although the technology certainly has come a long way, and the work involved with setting up your treatment is now virtually nil, the basic premise is the same, and our full spectrum dry sauna can do wonders for you, body, mind and soul.

The sauna’s heat will stimulate your sweat glands which is a wonderful way to eliminate toxins from the body. Toxins are a big problem in most societies today, and we build them up depending on a variety of factors, both in and out of our control. From the foods we eat to the household cleaners we use to the packaging we use every day and the environment around us, toxins leach their way inside our systems and can create havoc. Our saunas help your body to rid itself of these harmful toxins and help you step in the right direction for overall well being. You may have tried using a sauna at a health facility or at a spa, but you may not have realized that by using a sauna that has been used previously by numerous people with all levels of toxicity, you may have actually absorbed some of those released toxins yourself if the sauna wasn’t properly cleaned. One way to avoid this side effect of using a public sauna is to purchase your own home sauna and enjoy all of the benefits from the comfort of your own home.

Unlike some of the other saunas on the market, our saunas give you ability to control the settings which range from near infrared light to mid infrared light all the way to far infrared light. Each setting provides you with a different set of healing properties, so you can adjust it according to your needs. Sore muscles? Try near infrared for pain relief. Are you attempting to lose weight? Set your sauna to the mid infrared light which will assist you in burning fat. Want a good way to detoxify your entire body? Have a session at the far infrared setting. With a sauna, you’re in complete control.

Our saunas can support a change in lifestyle that leads you back on the road to health, or boost your already healthy day to day administrations. If you already eat a healthy diet, keep hydrated, stay active and get enough hours of uninterrupted sleep, a sauna in your home can be yet another pillar to keep you in shape from the inside out.

Besides helping your body to sweat out toxins, our saunas can alleviate pain you might be experiencing from a variety of conditions or disease. Those suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia noted a significant change in the use of their joints and muscles with regular use of their sauna. Those who use their sauna two to three times per week have noted a significant decrease in heart related issues. This could be because the heat from the sauna increases your heart rate regularly, dilates your blood vessels (allowing for better blood circulation) and can help to relax the muscle lining around your blood vessels.

So there’s help with weight loss, a reduced rate of heart disease, pain relief, and a great detoxification process. As if that weren’t enough, the use of our saunas can also help you to relax and regroup after a busy day. Think about it; you get home after another exhausting whirlwind of meetings, clients or hard labour, and all you want to do is sink into the floor. Your sauna welcomes you with the warm embrace of a hug and allows you to do nothing more than sit and meditate your way back into a more relaxed and calmer state. Studies have shown that those who use saunas as part of their mental health program show an increased rate of success over those who used alternate treatments. The sauna is made with all of your comforts in mind so nothing will interrupt your Zen. It’s the perfect place to meditate, the most calming way to improve your health and well being, and it’s a space you’ll go back to time and time again.

Thank you to Katie Mills who wrote this article. Katie is a guest author from Vidalux and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under her belt.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Unexpected Things You Can Experience When You Start Lifting Weights

Person About to Start Lifting the Barbell Inside the Gym

If you've never lifted weights before, doing it for the first time can seem pretty daunting. You don't want to look stupid in front of people at the gym, but you also don't want to hurt yourself trying to do it at home. Once you've got up the courage, a quick orientation at your gym or a couple of hours with a personal trainer will help you feel a lot of more confident. And when you're started lifting weights and committed yourself to doing it regularly, you're sure to start noticing a few changes that you might not expect. It can have a variety of effects on your body, so watch out for these changes.

You're Suddenly Hungry All the Time

You need energy to exercise. If you want to lose weight, some of the energy you give your body might be in the form of the fat you want to burn off. But you still need to make sure you're eating enough throughout the day to give yourself enough energy for your usual routine, plus your time lifting weights. Building muscle requires extra energy, plus some specific nutrients like protein. If you find that when you start lifting weights, you're suddenly starving all the time, you might not be eating enough. Be careful though, because you could end up overdoing it if you keep eating. It's a good idea to plan your diet to keep things balanced.

You Have to Get a New Wardrobe

Lifting weights can change the size and shape of your body. Even if you start thinking that you just want to tighten things up a little bit, you can still find that your clothes no longer fit you in the way they used to. You now can't get into your jeans, or maybe you've burned off some fat, and your tops are all too big. After you've been weightlifting for a while, the urge and the necessity to go shopping is probably going to get stronger. It's always good to have an excuse to buy new clothes.

You Feel More Toned

You might have started lifting weights with the aim of toning up, but you never expected that you would actually feel more toned. It doesn't take long before you can start feeling like your body is tighter and stronger. You feel like everything moves less than it did before and maybe even that you have more control over your body. You can feel stronger in hardly any time at all. For many people, it's one of the best things about weightlifting, and it can give you a huge boost in confidence and self-esteem. Just try not to flex too much.

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You Don't Lose Weight - or Even Gain It

If you've chosen to lift weights to help you lose weight, you've made a great choice. A lot of people recommend weights as a way to start burning fat. However, you can find yourself feeling disappointed when you step on the scales. You feel like you're getting slimmer, but the scales actually say you haven't lost weight or even that you've put on weight. Don't worry, though. This could just be because you have put on muscle as you've burned off fat. For a more accurate way to see if you're reaching your goals, you can measure yourself with a tape measure. Visit for a guide on how to do this. Taking measurements of key areas like your waist or your arms and legs gives you a better idea of whether you're burning fat. Check your progress in inches, and not in pounds.

You Hold Your Head Up Higher

As you start getting more into weightlifting and your body changes, it can give you a boost of confidence. But that's not the only reason you might be holding your head up higher. You could be physically standing taller after a while, thanks to the benefits of lifting weights. It can help you improve your posture by making your muscles stronger. Stronger muscles can get you to stand up straighter. Plus, having to focus on having the right form when you're lifting weights can translate into your daily life too, and you can find that you subconsciously stand taller outside of the gym.

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Your Aches and Pains Are Gone

Lifting weights can certainly result in a few aching muscles. Being able to feel the burn the day after your workout isn't always the best feeling, although it can be a nice reminder of all the hard work you put in. But even though it can cause you to ache a bit, lifting weights could also help you deal with aches and pains. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or you're a generally sedentary person, it can cause problems in your back, shoulders or neck from hunching over. You might find that other joints, like your knees, suffer from not getting enough exercise too. But when you lift weights, you can give your whole body a good workout, and it can help to recondition your muscles and strengthen anything you haven't been using enough.

You Start Thinking About Protein More Than Ever

Before lifting weights, you might never have given much thought to how much protein you eat, beyond knowing you should have some in your diet. However, once you start weightlifting, you need to think about how much protein you're getting if you want to support your muscles. Protein is necessary for muscle growth, and you should get around 0.5 to 0.8 grams for each pound of bodyweight you have. An easy way to measure is to have a portion of protein the size of your palm. The most well-known source of protein is meat, but you can also get it from seafood, dairy, eggs, and beans. And, of course, protein powder. Take a look at to find some great sources of protein that aren't meat.

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You'll Have a New Way to Deal with Stress

Everyone has to deal with stress in their life, which might come from work, family, or other areas. Whatever it is that makes you stressed, being able to deal with it in a healthy way helps your mental state. When you start getting into weightlifting, you can find that it's an excellent way to deal with some of your stress. Some stress is best solved by coming up with practical solutions to problems. But often you just need to deal with the feeling of being stressed. Lifting weights gives you a physical way to do that, and it gives you something to concentrate on so you can get out of your head.

You Won't Be As Bulky As You Imagined

A lot of women, in particular, worry about getting too bulky when they start lifting weights. Although you want to be stronger and more toned, you might not wish to look like a bodybuilder. If you're a woman, your chances of getting really bulky from some routine weightlifting aren't that high, due to having a lower amount of testosterone. If you don't want to bulk up, you can manage your exercise routine, so you control the growth of your muscles. Of course, if you do want to be bigger, you can plan for that too.

You Can Improve More Than Just Your Strength

Your strength isn't the only area of fitness where you might notice an improvement. You can also discover that things like your flexibility, stamina and even speed are improved through lifting weights. Some of these you'll work on through weightlifting, while others you might improve by adding other elements to your exercise routine. You might add some cardio or even do some yoga to complement your weightlifting routine.

You'll Sleep Better

Lifting weights can help you get more and better quality sleep - and not just because you're exhausted. Lifting weights helps to kickstart your metabolism, which can make it easier for you to fall asleep. When you're more active, you'll be able to get rid of excess energy. However, exercising can also get you pumped up, so if you're having trouble dropping off, you might find it better to exercise earlier in the day. Mornings are a great time to exercise if you need something to get you going.

You Will Have More Energy

It might seem contradictory, but being more active can actually give you more energy. If you find that you're feeling energetic or that it's easy to concentrate, it could be thanks to your new weightlifting routine. Your body will be better prepared for your trips to the gym, which means you'll be ready for all your other daily activities too. Not only that, but the endorphins from exercising can give you a high and have you raring to go, ready to tackle anything that's put in front of you. Whether you're going for a walk or lifting a heavy box, you can find that you have more energy and strength to do it.

A lot of unexpected things can happen to you when you start lifting weights. Get ready for some interesting but positive changes.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Walking Canes

Whenever we think of walking canes, we automatically assume they are an item to be used only by our elders or by someone who has a major injury, this, however, couldn’t be further from the truth; a walking cane can be helpful at times when you are dealing with a minor injury or even an inflamed muscle, it provides you with additional support and in turn it will make your recovery faster.

If you work out with heavy weights, there is a chance you may have experienced some lower back pain or even a minor injury, if so, it’s always a good idea to keep a walking cane handy for those times you feel you may need a little extra support. Nowadays, there is no excuse, there are so many fashionable options available in the market that you don’t have to settle for something that will not match your style or wardrobe.

If you are considering purchasing your first walking cane a good starting point is to understand what material you would like it to be made of, the size you need and the type of handle you prefer.

A popular starter cane would be an adjustable derby handle cane, these are easy for first timers as these canes don’t require the user to know their size, as it can be adjusted accordingly and the derby handle is comfortable and stylish. Another reason an adjustable cane is typically a popular cane is due to the lightweight material; they are usually made of carbon fiber or aluminum, this makes the cane easier to carry.

If you prefer the look of a wooden cane, it’s important to get your measurement, the way you would measure is with your arms resting comfortably on your side and have someone measure from your wrist down to the floor.

Don’t shy away from a cane, you will find it to be worth having it handy whenever you find yourself in need.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Home Workout Needs: Sports Gear & Will Power

One of the most common New Year's resolutions that are made every year is the promise to yourself to get fit. Or to exercise more. Or to finally beat your record on the sit up bench. However it is phrased, the resolution remains the same. And where those promises are probable always made with all the right intentions, the issue arises when it comes time to act on and keep that promise. 

Halloween pretty much kicks off the bad eating habits with the plethora of candies lying around the place, but it’s somewhere around Thanksgiving, where it becomes acceptable for everyone to start eating a little naughtier. And that's fine - because in a few weeks it'll be a new year and a new you! In your brand new home gym burning it all off, right? And that might be true for a month or two. But around 12% of gym members sign up in January, and most of them quit within 24 weeks. Which is why having a home gym is a great idea - as it is right there, no effort needed, plus it’s a physical reminder of the money you have spent to prepare for your fitness resolution. 

For most people, when they make a plan to get fit, with all those good New Year intentions, they never plan on quitting. And if you're one of those people - how are you planning on sticking it out when so many around you (even your gym buddy) are dropping out? It doesn't matter if you have just taken a break from the gym for the holidays, are just coming back to it after a slump or an injury, or if you are completely new to the world of fitness, getting into a proper routine can be daunting. It’s not just about working out for a decent chunk of time four or five times a week - you will need to look at completely revamping your diet, and the same goes for your mentality towards fitness. You will also need to restructure your life to be able to fit in your workouts, and to have time for meal prep. 

You might have already started your fitness journey, but after the first few weeks, the excitement starts to wear off. And teamed with the up and coming blue monday, it can be hard to keep it up. So now is the time to have a good look at your mentality and to get into the right frame of mind. Everyone has that little voice in the back of their minds that constantly tells you that you can’t. But you need to kick that guy out of your head and replace it with a more inspirational one - like The Rock. 

Help your mental preparation by preparing the space you’re going to use for your home workouts. Look at what equipment you need, and have space for. have some examples of equipment you might need, and that are versatile enough that you don’t need fifty different types of machinery. There are so many workouts that you can do to maintain your goals without needing all of the specialist equipment that you see in the gym. In fact, you can easily use your own body weight to achieve the gains you want.